Control Issues in Children with R.A.D.

When thinking about the needs of children diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), several things came to my mind. Almost all children with RAD have a need to control some part of their lives.

close up of teenage girl

Even as infants, children learn how to control their parents. They cry for food or when discomfortable with a wet diaper. Parents who care for their children usually jump to respond to their child’s needs. If those needs are met, they come to trust their parents.

Trust is fragile. If a child is ignored and his cries go unanswered, trust in adults is broken. This is when the child, even at a few weeks old, begins to understand there is only one person in his life he can trust. That person is himself.

If the child is abused by someone he trusted, that child begins to try to control his environment to protect himself. The older the child becomes the more his odd behaviors escalate.

It’s been said that the most dangerous animal on earth is man. Whether man or woman, these people can do enormous damage to a child. People do cruel things to animals. They can take out their uncontrolled anger on a pet or even on a helpless child.

african american boy sitting in chair and crying
Photo by Keira Burton on

When an adult attacks a child causing mental or physical injuries, these will follow the child throughout his life. It’s incredible what damage these people do. Practically every day, there’s a new report of a parent causing the death of their child.

I think the worst thing a parent (male or female) can do is sexually abuse an innocent child. There are reports of children as young as three months old being sexually abused. Those perpetrators are extremely sick, but so are the other people who condone it and do nothing to protect the child.

If the child is finally rescued by child protective services, the lessons of the need to protect himself are further enhanced by a series of foster homes. Some of those homes are great, some of them okay and others will take advantage of the child and cause further emotional or physical distress.

I often hear that these children should never be placed in an adoptive home. I think the underlying reason behind the comment is they feel that these children need to be placed somewhere in a locked-up facility for the rest of their lives.

My parents always told me about Boys Town in Nebraska, a few miles from where they were born. All my growing up years, my parents supported Boys Town. The philosophy of Boys Town’s originator, Father Flanagan was that there was “No such thing as a bad boy!” I personally believe that philosophy myself and add, there’s “No such thing as a bad girl” either.

Once parents can get their child to trust them and not hurt them, then the child can, and often does, relinquish that control. I’ve seen the results and feel it’s possible.

Personally, I think there should be a vast overhaul of how parenting should be taught and also, how the foster care system needs to change. There is a need to not allow unfit parents, to continue parenting. Reunification does more damage to the child who feels a need to control his own life, because adults don’t consider the child’s needs as important.

I’m a social worker with 11 years’ experience working with families of children with RAD. I’ve seen good results for these children.

Thanks for reading this post. If you have any questions or would like more information, please email me at:

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

Adoption Challenge!

I challenge anyone reading this post to consider adopting an older child with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) behaviors and issues. You just may save a life and enhance your own. Here’s a link to request information on adoption.

My Adoption Life – Heart and Hands

ADOPTION is a wonderful way to change your lives.  Oh yes, I’ve heard it all. Adoptions can be great, okay or horrible. I always say that adoptions shouldn’t be a shot in the dark process, but so many times they are.

Without knowledge of what works for one family and does not work for another, no one can figure out which family should take on which child. The child is just given to whoever says, “Send them my way!”

The above practice occurs in international adoptions, foster care adoptions and even infant adoptions. With the scattershot process, some children succeed happily and others do not. As a parent with a major awful experience in the scattershot process, I can relate to families who get a child they never expected.

When I was adopting, the agency contacted me and said they had a five- year-old boy and would I like to be his mother. I immediately said “YES!” I was so excited. Then I get a call and the worker told me, “She’s beautiful!” I went, “Um, she is supposed to be a he.” “Oh no,” the worker said “This is definitely a girl and she’s ten-years-old.” I was now getting a ten-year-old girl. When my daughter was on the plane to the USA, I received another phone call and the agency director in India said my daughter was closer to 14. There’s a huge difference between five and 14.

I was clueless about what happened to her in India. She was a victim of childhood trauma and had the resultant Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). No one in India knew her story and didn’t care. She needed a new home, so the authorities said “Let’s send her away and that’s one more urchin off the streets.

My international experience is not unique. I believe it would have helped my adoption experience if I had been better prepared. But, no one can really prepare a family who adopts a child with RAD because most people have never had experience with such a child. 

I believe there are people out there in the real world who would love to take on the challenge of being a parent. How would you feel if you had information on the child that will give you a heads up on what the child’s issues are before you decide to adopt?

I know I would have done a much better job in parenting my child if I had been made aware of her traumatic life before she was on a plane. Would I have changed my mind? The answer is complex, but I believe that the knowledge of her history would have been an advantage because then I could have helped her succeed.


Knowing what I know now after working with families adopting children with all the past behaviors and issues being available for the new families to help them make informed decisions regarding the children’s needs, makes for more successful adoptions.

Are you ready to meet my challenge?

Thanks for reading my post. Please email me with any questions.

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) – A Misunderstood Diagnosis

Are you an adoptive parent of a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)? If not, do you know a family that has one? You just might, but not be aware of what the parents are living through.

Why is it so hard to believe an adoptive family is having difficulties with their adopted child? One of the main reasons for this is the children themselves. The children with RAD are good at hiding their behaviors from other people including other family members not living in their home.

There’s actually a name for the child’s behavior outside the family – it’s called “manipulation.” A child with RAD can read people like a book. They do this in less than five minutes and convince those people what a great kid they are.

The behaviors of a child with RAD are amazingly complex.  Oh sure, they lie, steal, have tantrums, or are defiant, but no one, not in the family, seems to understand the toll other, less noticeable, behaviors take on the family.

One of the least known of these behaviors is triangulation of family members. They will set a sibling against another sibling or parent against other child or parent against parent. The child is in control and nobody can figure this out unless they live with a child that does this.

Divorces among parents of a child with RAD are not common, but they do happen. This usually happens when a child has convinced the dad that mom is the problem. The child is the one who wins in those circumstances. Does this help the child? Not usually. The child does this to control his environment.

Another issue is using bodily functions to control everyone, parents, teachers or siblings. The child usually gets satisfaction in disrupting adults and other children that they dislike.

People, who do not understand RAD, always say the child needs therapy. Sorry to tell everyone, but therapy does not work with children diagnosed with RAD. The kids won’t talk!!! Play therapy has been used with varying degrees of success. A therapist who has been trained in RAD therapy may understand the problem, but it works for some and not for others.

Is there anything that works with these children with RAD? Is there a cure for RAD. There are several groups out there that support and say they can help the child with RAD change their behaviors.

Professionals from medical/psychiatric clinics say there really isn’t a cure for the child except medication and therapy. Sorry, but the wrong medication can be detrimental to a child with RAD.

Looking at the child’s need for controlling their environment, sometimes a change of residence makes a difference. These changes can be a therapeutic boarding school, residential treatment facility or a new home. Removing the triggers from their first adoptive home can help the child adjust.

If you have any questions regarding Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), please email me at:

Thanks for reading my post.

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

Older R.A.D. Adoptions vs an Ugly Word

Older RAD adoptions vs an ugly word (re-homing)

anns face old

There are few things that can set me off, but the illegal practice of placing a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) in a stranger’s home without legal protections in place for the child, is a major one.

Even the term that is used for this practice, “Re-Homing” is like someone scratching their finger on a blackboard. I absolutely loath that terminology. This practice hasn’t helped adoptions’ reputation, either.

When I became an adoptive parent, I like most adoptive parents, went into it with rose-colored glasses. I liked kids and always wanted children of my own, even though I was single with no prospective husband in sight.

When I found out that single people were adopting children, I jumped at the chance. I’ve had people, who knew about my daughter’s behaviors, ask me if it was worth it? My answer has always been a resounding YES. Do I wish it had turned out differently? Of course, but I learned a lot about myself and know I became a totally different person with a lot more empathy towards parents of children with RAD.


Would I have wanted to place her in a different home? Yes, I always felt she needed something I wasn’t able to give her, a father figure. Would I have felt it was okay to just give her to another family without any legal protections for her or me? No, I don’t think I would have even thought about changing our lives that way.

Now, with the knowledge I have about how successful re-adoptions of children with RAD are when completed legally with the new adopting families receiving all the information on the child so they know what to expect, I would have felt comfortable placing my daughter in a new family.

Education of people, who continue to use negative terminology applied to adopted children, is a major goal of my life. All my life, I have felt that adoption was a positive, loving gesture. That hasn’t changed for me.


I went to college, graduated with a Master’s in Social Work and have worked in adoptions for almost 30 years. I was a director of an infant adoption agency in Utah for nine years. I’ve worked with another agency in Utah for 14 years and for the last 11 years as a program social worker working with families of kids with RAD.

For more information, please contact me at

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

What Is Real Love for Parents of RAD Children?

I have strong feelings about helping parents, who through no fault of their own, have decided that in the best interests of their child and the rest of their family to try to find a different family for their child.

Ann and Kara

Adoption is such a flash point for positive and negative comments.  The internet is rife with people expressing their opinions about something they know little about. 

Angry outbursts of other adoptive parents are what most adoptive parents struggling with a traumatized child, fear the most. The condemnation is so hurtful. Without knowing the full story, people feel they have the right to rake the adoptive family over the coals of hatred.

What is the full story?

All of us adoptive parents go into the adoption process with love of children. Some feel that God has called them to adopt, others want to be parents, but physical problems prevent them from having biological children, and others feel that they want to share their lives with children living in poor countries and give them a better life.

None of us have gone into adoption to be parents of early childhood trauma kids. We want to believe that after an adjustment period, the child will settle in and grow to love us as much as we are programmed to love them. The majority of children do just that. They assimilate into our homes and learn to love us and nobody questions the parents about their adoption struggles.

When a child, a victim of Developmental Trauma Disorder (a term I prefer to Reactive Attachment Disorder), is adopted, the new parents are not usually aware that they have a holy terror in their home. They try everything they know how to do to change the child’s behaviors. Nothing works.

How many years does it take for families to recognize that their child’s behaviors are beyond them? Most families are aware they may need to do something drastic when the child doesn’t respond to any traditional parenting or therapies or has never bonded with their parents, especially the mother figure.

Defiant kid

Because of the stigma attached to finding another family with different triggers, the family becomes overly concerned about placing the child into a different family environment. Instead, they try Residential Treatment Facilities (RTF) or Residential Boarding Schools with the hope the child will do well and stay there until they reach 18.

What happens when the child turns 18? Where do they usually wind up? Would you like to venture a guess or are you a parent that feels you no longer want to parent that child?

Children learn more difficult behaviors in an RTF. They don’t usually learn survival skills or job skills in the RTF. They are just warehoused in those facilities.  They do not learn what it means to have a family they can depend on.

The question I have for the families that abandon their children, but can’t let go enough to have them adopted by another family that might just be a better fit for their children. What do you benefit from that? Do you feel you’re protecting society?


I can honestly say, you’re putting society at risk because setting a child out of a safe environment with no skills and little understanding of the real world is putting the child at risk for drug abuse, criminal activities and prison time.

I think it’s time for the negative commenters to learn what really happens if a traumatized child does not have a safe environment to grow up in. They also need to STOP condemning families who love their child enough to give them a chance for life with another family. THAT’S WHAT REAL LOVE IS!!!

Thanks for reading my blog. Constructive comments are always appreciated.

My email is

Check out my FB page: My Adoption Life

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

When Is It too Late to Get Help for a Child with RAD?

When I was younger, I always wondered why adoption had an “Are you sure you want to do this?” question attached to it. When high school kids were in trouble, why would someone assume they were adopted?

A remark that has always stuck with me was made by reporters who were reporting on the Columbine High School shooting some 20+ years ago. They were discussing the two shooters’ backgrounds and made, what I considered the dumbest statement ever, “Neither shooter was adopted!”

Learning what I know now, it’s definitely not unheard of that an adopted child could conceivably shoot up a school ground. No one really knows to what extent Reactive Attachment Disorder can lead to dangerous behaviors.

At what age do you throw in the towel when parenting a child with RAD? I’m talking about the child’s age. Do you do it when the child first shows signs of RAD behaviors? Do you do it when the child has been disrupting the household for several years? Or, do you suffer and wait until the child is 17 or 18?

I always think that the saddest thing I hear is that a family of a child with RAD sends them to a boarding school or a residential treatment facility until they’re 18 and never let them come back home. Parents need to reconsider their biases.  Every person, even a child with RAD, needs to feel valued.

I’ve heard parents who place their child into an RTF or boarding school say they wouldn’t wish their experiences with their child onto another person. I know their thoughts, “If we tried to be loving parents and were so badly treated, we would never subject another family to our child’s behaviors.”

I can hear it now, there’s no place in a “normal” household for these damaged children. I really don’t believe that statement.  I’m an optimist. I have checked out the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoptions and they placed thousands of older foster children in new homes for years. These kids were long-term foster kids because of their behaviors. I believe if people are willing to take on a worthwhile mentorship of these kids with RAD, the kids will succeed.

These lost kids make up a minority, but do cause a lot of illegal behaviors in order to survive.  I wonder how many adults with RAD are prison residents? I speak from the position of being a parent of a child with RAD who’s been in prison for the last 20 years.

Can children with RAD change? As a matter of fact, most can actually become successful in a different environment. The fact that children with RAD have been damaged before they were old enough to fight back, get adopted and that first stable home feels threatening to the child.

Children with RAD need different types of parenting. The good news is that once they find a secure relationship, they really can change and have an exciting life.

Check out these pages:

RAD Teen Adoptions (FB)

Second Chance Adoptions (FB),

My Adoption Life (website and blog)

Thanks for reading.

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

What Is a Mom’s Experience with a RAD Child?

A Day in the Life of a Parent of a Child with RAD

Mothers of children with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) have totally different experiences than mothers of attached children. People with no experience with RAD often think the mothers of children with RAD are just exaggerating their parenting problems.

I totally understand what other mothers of kids with RAD deal with day-to-day. My daughter was a mystery to me. She never responded to me like my nephews responded to their mother, my sister. I was not someone she really wanted to know. As far as she was concerned, I was just an annoying caretaker.

Knowing what I do now has given me a much better picture of what happens in the daily life of mothers of children with RAD. Mothers of kids with RAD are almost universally targets of their disturbing behaviors. Those behaviors can include telling lies, stealing, rages, screaming, hitting and any number of behaviors their mothers have never had any experience with or even heard about.

Children with RAD are incredibly intuitive. They can take a couple of days or less in a new home to figure out how to manipulate and triangulate their new parents. If there are other children in the home, the new kid also figures how to get to those kids within days.

“What about the dads?” If the dad works outside the home, he rarely sees what the mom has gone through during the day. This causes a rift between the parents that may eventually lead to major disagreements and maybe even divorce.

Kara Lamphere

The following is a typical day in the life of a mother of a child with RAD. (RAD child)

At 6:30 AM, it’s time to get the children up and get them ready for school. The two older children are grumpy, but moving. The ten-year-old RAD child starts screaming “No, No, I’m not going.” Mom tells the child to get up.

The child gets up and his bedding is soaked. Mom asks the child to remove the sheets so they can be washed. The child starts shrieking and jumping up and down. Mom removes the sheets and tells the child to get dressed. The child starts throwing clothes out of the closet.

Mom decides what the child will wear for the day. The child eventually gets dressed. Next comes an argument over what to have for breakfast. The mother tells the child eat what’s there or go hungry.

All three children go to school. About 10:00 AM, the mother gets a call from the school. The RAD child decided to tell the teachers, the mother is not feeding her child as punishment. The school may have to report child abuse unless the mother can explain why she told the child that.

The school personnel don’t understand the RAD behavior. They want to believe the child because the child already knows how to manipulate the teachers and tells the story with the straightest of faces. Mom explains what happened and teachers agree not to call CPS this time.

It’s 4:00 PM, the children are all home now. There’s homework to be completed. The other children get to work. The RAD child has a massive meltdown. The home work is too dumb, too hard and the child basically refuses to do anything except scream.

The mother sends the RAD child to their room, which makes the child even more angry. The child starts threatening the other kids or the mother with harm. The RAD child threatens to run away, jump off the roof or try to kill themselves by running in front of a car to end their misery.

At 5:30 PM, the dad comes home. The house is in an uproar. The older kids are yelling at their younger sibling. The mother is crying and trying to calm all the children down. Dad yells for quiet and then asks the mom, “What’s for dinner?”

family making breakfast in the kitchen
Photo by August de Richelieu on

The mom tries to explain what’s happening, but dad has no patience as this happens almost every day. The RAD child has convinced the dad that mom is the reason for all the troubles.

After a few more minutes, the mom cooks dinner. It’s not a pleasant experience. The RAD child gobbles down the food and then runs out the door to get away from the house. The parents take a quick break, clean up the kitchen and then decide it’s bedtime for the children.

The RAD child is nowhere to be found. That child has run away again. This is a continuing nightmare for the parents. The parents begin arguing and call for help. The child is eventually located a few streets over and brought home.

The day isn’t over yet. Now it takes another hour to get the RAD child for bed. The bed needs to be remade. The child balks at the pajamas. The parents put the child to bed and dad stays until the child drifts off to sleep.

Once all is peaceful, mom and dad get a few minuets to discuss the day. The discussion doesn’t go well for mom as dad cannot understand why mom has so much trouble with the RAD child.


The above scenario is just an example, not all families experience all of the behaviors, but mothers do seem to get the brunt of the child’s anger. There has been speculation that the child transfers the feelings of abandonment experienced when taken away from their biological mother to the adoptive mother.

For more information on Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), please submit your questions to

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

How Would I know if my Child Could Have RAD?

Have you ever wondered how therapists diagnose Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)? Have you asked yourself, “Why does it take so long to get that diagnosis?”

It’s amazing, but there aren’t many physicians or therapists that really understand RAD. They often diagnose a child by their behaviors. The first diagnosis is usually ADHD. What helps kids with ADHD? A drug containing methamphetamine.

Now a true ADHD child does respond well to those drugs. All those drugs do for a child with RAD is wind them up like a top. They can become whirling dervishes. Their ability to concentrate becomes impossible and their behaviors escalate.

Children running

What are the specific behaviors of a child with RAD? There are so many, it’s hard to predict which ones will be more pronounced in any given child. Outwardly lying and stealing are issues almost every family sees.

It’s the control issues that really define RAD. The child has an uncommon need for control of every aspect of his or her life. The loss of control caused by traumatic experiences in a young child’s life, often results in a brain that says “Protect yourself at any cost!”

Rages that can last from five minutes to untold hours can be caused by someone telling the child “No!” When the rages happen, they can cause PTSD in many family members. While in a rage, the child can lash out with physical aggression usually towards his/her mother or another child.

Control, Control, Control. This is the name of the game for a child with RAD. You have no idea how manipulative a child can be until you have lived every day with RAD. They will triangulate parents and the other children in the family. These kids will play parent against parent, siblings against parents or siblings against siblings, anything to control everyone in the family.

Photo by cottonbro on

These kids with RAD do not respond to normal parenting. They will sulk, scream, rage, or run away. Therapy, unless a family is lucky to find an attachment therapist, usually is a costly experiment. Kids with RAD do not respond to talk therapy very well.

The next question is do kids with RAD respond to a Residential Treatment Facility (RTF)? The answer is “not particularly well.” Once the children settle in, they begin to figure out who they can control or manipulate.

Sending a child to an RTF gives the adoptive parents some breathing room. It is important for decisions to be made before the child returns home.

There are groups and programs that offer parents of a child with RAD information how to help change parenting techniques or as support systems.

It’s really important to identify a child with RAD the younger the better. Getting diagnoses that really don’t apply keeps the child from getting the correct diagnosis and many years of psychoactive medications that don’t really work except to make the child either hyperactive or lethargic.  

If you have further questions about Reactive Attachment Disorder, please contact me at:

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

What Happens When Adoptive Parents’ Love Is Not Enough?

a happy couple cheering for their son riding a bike
Photo by RODNAE Productions on

Parents go into adding to their families by adoption for many reasons. Those reasons may include: they like kids, they are unable to have children or they want to give a child a better life.

Most families go into adoption feeling they have a lot of love to share with children. It can be a shock to these great parents to be rejected by some severely traumatized children. The families are often made to feel their child’s behaviors are all their fault.

The crises these kids with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) can cause  the parents to re-think their adoption options.

wood love art heart
Photo by RODNAE Productions on

The majority of children with RAD, whose families have reached the end of their ropes, find themselves being displaced into new places. These places can be residential treatment facilities (RTF) or boarding schools or inpatient therapeutic hospitals.

How long do these facilities hold these children before sending them back to their adoptive parents? The time depends on many things like how long the kids are allowed to stay, how long a therapist needs to claim the child cured or how long can the parent leave them in the facility.

What happens when the child is pronounced “cured?” He or she is returned to the adoptive parents to start the process over again. This is what is known as a “revolving door.” It’s not really emotionally satisfying for either the children or the parents. The costs can really be extreme and difficult for families to continue paying.

When it turns out that the situation becomes impossible for the family, they start discussing what is going to be best for their child and others in the family. Those discussions can be emotionally draining.

Some families know it would not be safe for their child to return home, but they believe their child would still benefit from being a part of a family, just not in their family.

Making such a change in their family is really tough. It’s always important to involve counselors or therapists for their input and suggestions whenever possible.

Choosing to dissolve their adoption and allow another family raise their adopted child is very traumatic for some adoptive parents.  Many don’t want to place their child because they don’t want to inflict another family with what they have lived with for many years.

Sad Face

The original adoptive parents cannot fathom that their child would behave differently in another home. This is a problem that keeps perpetuating the problem over and over. For one thing younger children ages four to ten do really well in a different family, like about 95 to 97% of the time. 

According to information about older children with RAD, they do well about 75 to 85% of the time when placed in a different home with different rules and situations.

The hypothetical question is “Would a new family be better than a lifetime in an RTF, boarding school or therapeutic inpatient hospital? Only parents with an out-of-control child can really answer this question.

When you can answer this truthfully in thinking about your child’s needs, reach out for help. It’s out there.

Thanks for reading my post.

My Email: My FB page – My Adoption Life

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

Three Rhyming Words: RAD, BAD, SAD!!!!

There are times when I wish I could tell parents of children with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) that everything will turn out all right for their child. It makes me so sad when I hear stories of how some of these kids carry their trauma into bad relationships or worse.

Sad Face

The worst is what happened to my child with RAD trauma. She was always a victim, even when she thought she wasn’t. She was going to do what she wanted to “come hell or high water!”

When she was arrested for shoplifting, according to her, it was my fault. I had made her so mad, she knew just what to do to get even with me. She knew I didn’t tolerate stealing, so she stole a $2.98 necklace and a $1.00 pencil from a department store. Her mistake was playing a game machine for a couple of hours and the police were ready when she left the store.

Police Badge

Of course, I was called to come get her. I was livid! The police told me it was my responsibility to see that she went to court. At that point, I personally wanted to give her to the police and let them handle her. But no, I took her home and, sad to say, I railed at her for about an hour.

Yelling is such a wasted time and effort with these kids with RAD. After years of experience working with families of kids with RAD, I know better, but then I didn’t.

I took my daughter to Juvenile Court hoping the judge would explain to her it was really a bad thing to steal. It was such a learning experience for me to find out that it was all my fault that she took things without paying for them.

At that point I let the judge have it. I explained in no uncertain terms that she needed to take responsibility for her actions and I was NOT responsible for the actions she took. I grabbed my daughter’s arm and marched out of the judge’s court while he sat there with his mouth open!

brown gavel
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on

I hate to say it, but people in authority have never intimated me. They’ve tried, I don’t know how many times, but it just doesn’t work with me. I hear stories all the time how families are treated nastily by police, judges, social workers, therapists and teachers.

When my daughter started missing school, I found out that she was sloughing to be with this kid she met at a store at Christmas time. She didn’t take into consideration the principal would call and let me know she was missing.

When confronted, she lied and tried to convince me that she was going to school, the principal just didn’t see her. Well, that didn’t fly. I followed her the next day and watched where she went. She headed directly to her new boyfriend’s apartment.

Sorry guys, I lost my temper again. She could always push my buttons. I feel really sorry, but kids with RAD do this so frequently, it’s part of the RAD diagnosis.

Kara and Johnny

She eventually became pregnant by this boyfriend.  My choices were let them get married, move out of the state, have her have an abortion or let her become a single mother. None of my choices were really exceptionally great, so I let her marry him.

At the time they married, he had a steady job and making enough to support them.  That lasted about six weeks until he was fired. I never knew why, but I think he stole money from the company. He was definitely a thief and sold drugs.

My daughter has four children all of them fathered by this criminal she was married to. The three boys have been in prison off and on for the last 20 years. My granddaughter is the only one who’s never been in trouble.


My daughter’s husband is in prison with a terminal life sentence for killing a woman, which should be carried out in 2022. My daughter is in prison until 2023 because she wouldn’t get help to prevent her husband’s killing of the woman.

I don’t know if she has changed her thought processes and probably won’t ever really know. I do know this, as do families whose children have left their homes in tatters, that I’m not looking forward to ever meeting her again in person.

I know my story is somewhat unique, but there have always been problems with adopted children.  The early childhood trauma experienced by children available for adoption has given the practice a bad image. There are thousands upon thousands who have been adopted and have grown up totally loved and successful. I salute those children’s parents every day.


Thanks for reading

If you’d like more information, please email me at lamp1685@annlamphere

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

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